Custom: Triumph Speed Twin

Dailies, Galleries -


“How about a modern re-interpretation of a classic theme?” Asked Triumph product manager Simon Warburton when he commissioned this bike. “A bike based around our 865cc air-cooled parallel-twin, styled to appeal to younger riders. Maybe it would be the bike the Bonneville might have evolved into in an alternative universe?”

The two design students who built the bike, Roy Norton and Tom Kasher (pictured here), then drew upon influences from cafe racers, bobbers and classic Triumphs to create this Speed Twin. The final product is so good, it’s partially responsible for new jobs for the pair at England’s Xenophya Motorcycle Design.

Roy and Tom conceived the Speed Twin for their final year thesis project at the Northumbria University Transport Design program. In addition to input from Triumph, Barbour contributed its expertise in fashion and clothing as well. The Speed Twin sports a hand-wrapped seat and grips made from Barbour waxed cotton.

To create the bike, the designers started with a Bonneville frame and engine, altering the rear portion of the frame to accept the monoshock and fitting girder forks. Bodywork was then applied in sculpted clay. The result is something that combines retro-futuristic lines with an air of modern performance. It’s immediately a Bonneville, just one that looks like it evolved in an alternate universe.

“The bike looks great and there are some elements of it that may have an influence on some of our future projects,” says Warburton.

  • motoguru

    I was starting to wonder if they were going to ever make it a ridable bike. Looks even better with the spokes.

    • Troy R

      Second on the wire wheels, but It’s still gorgeous IMHO.

  • Jon B.

    Put the Dunlops back on and I call it superfly.

  • Jesse

    Wow, does that look great. I’m not a big girder-fork fan, but it sure sets that bike off from a pack.

    • Gene

      I like it too. I think that’s about the only time I’ve seen a girder fork done well.

  • Joe

    There must be another bike parked off screen in the second pic. That or one of them is riding on the rear pegs.

  • Denzel

    Nice work guys…The matching rear frame supports and forks works great.

    …and lest we forget, from the pictures, its still all about getting the girl…

  • Brad

    I love the endless way people envision the motorcycle. Great photo essay.

  • damien

    Hot damn, that looks fantastic.

  • BigRooster

    What’s with the shit tires? Other than that, it’s derivative, but pretty damn cool regardless.

    • Wes Siler

      Those Firestones were the height of fashion a couple years back. See Wrenchmonkees etc.

      • BigRooster

        …but still shit.

        • Your_Mom

          Actually, now they’re shiznit!

  • markbvt

    The spoked wheels look way better than the cast ones on this bike.

    • contender

      Yep. Front brakes are sexy.

  • zipp4

    Gorgeous bike.

    What I want to know is how to a couple of students afford all of the custom machine work or casting to make the girders and swingarm?

    • Xenophya

      They can’t they modeled all the parts themselves. we’re very proud of them. Splendid chaps both of them!

  • Good Thomas

    I think Triumph provided a lot of the parts to the two students. This story was featured in Triumph’s official magazine. I’m glad to see HFL doing a piece on this, I thought the concept bike these 2 kids put together looked awesome and deserved to be exposed to enthusiasts beyond the official magazine’s distribution.

  • Emmet

    nice. I hope Triumph pays attention to this. I think they included a short article in one of the recent catalogs…

  • Lucas Worthing

    That is the nicest looking triumph I’ve seen in a long time- very nicely done! The monocoque frame sections and forks are a thing of beauty with the benefits of integrity. I love it when modern technology fuses with traditional intentions to better perform with today’s riders! Too bad it’s so underpowered, sigh… but I guess it makes sense for the younger guys and first-time riders.

  • fazer6


  • Johndo


  • Ceolwulf

    I wish the new Norton had this sort of pure and cohesive lines.

  • Tommy

    wow, gorgeous.

  • Campisi

    I find the common themes in many modern “youth” custom motorcycles encouraging for the future: tactile materials, minimalism, and component design in lieu of extensive bodywork. Waxed cotton and exhaust wrap are incredibly appealing to a generation that grew up surrounded almost exclusively by plastics and synthetic materials.

    • reverend_rider

      Nail firmly on the head there, Campisi.

  • Keith

    I do believe these gentlemen have a future in design.
    Nice work!


    Throw some knee pads on it and it’d be damn near perfect! (WITH the spoked wheels!)

    • Xenophya

      I hope they do!!

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    I wish the seat/subframe could have been cantilevered without the extra buttress tubes to the forged rear of the frame.

    Otherwise, this motorcycle looks awesome. If Triumph made this, and it rode as well as a Bonnie, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

    The female model, on the other hand, is too thin for my tastes.

    • Xenophya

      Shes not a model just a mate of young roy’s

      • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

        Dream motorcycles and women with model looks. I can think of many guys who would trade lives with Roy!

        BTW, I love the looks of the Explorer. Cheers!

  • holdingfast

    i d sell a kidney to own this bike.

  • Russ Gunn

    Photographed in my home town, Newcastle Upon Tyne!

  • filly-fuzz

    finally Triumph’s stylized vintage twin matches the rest of the bike.

    The bonnie just looked too oldschool for the motor, now this looks cohesive.

    If only it put down 100hp and weighed 170kgs………………sigh

  • Philip

    Nice work chaps! Bravo!

    All of us here in the Xenophya HK office are so proud of you!

  • aristurtle

    See, concept motorcycles like this have the same problem for me as concept cars: it looks great at first glance, and then that voice in the back of my head starts saying “wait just one goddamn minute, where the hell is the front brake? Where are the mirrors, and the turn signals, and the instrument cluster? Hell, where’s the clutch lever? I don’t see any switchgear on those handlebars, either: sure, that might look nice and clean… and come to think of it, for the ‘final’ version, with the cast wheels, there aren’t any pictures where the ‘rider’ has both feet off the road.”

    It’s like seeing a sleek concept sports car and thinking how great it looks and then realizing that it looks sleek because it doesn’t have side mirrors. I can’t suspend disbelief.

  • Al Herbert

    Sweet bike, wish there were more pictures lmao..

  • JR

    Really love this bike. Fuel injection + awesome girder + retro-modern looks. It’s basically a very nicely cleaned up thruxton with an awesome front end. Love the color too.

  • Justin Turner

    Who makes these snowflake wheels?

  • Shaun Miller

    Who made the girder front end ? Any ideas.. Bike is very nice.